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English Wikipedia has an article on:
Subway Noun-Sense 4:
A tunnel for pedestrians.
A subway station in Munich, Germany


sub- +‎ way


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈsʌbˌweɪ/, [ˈsʌbˌweɪ̯]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌbweɪ


subway (plural subways)

  1. (Canada, US, Scotland, South Africa) An underground railway, especially for mass transit of people in urban areas.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 98:
      In 1884 Greathead was part of a syndicate that obtained powers for another subway – 'The City of London & Southwark Subway'. The term 'subway' sounded more sophisticated than 'underground railway', which was associated with the sulphurous Metropolitan, and it would be adopted by New York for its own electric metro when work started on that in 1904.
  2. (Canada, US, Scotland, South Africa) A train that runs on such an underground railway.
    • 1981 April 29, Russel Baker, “And Only Sixty Cents”, in The New York Times[1]:
      Just before you leave, the subway comes. You get on. It stops at the next station.
  3. (US) A rapid transit system, regardless of the elevation of its right of way.
  4. (Britain) An underground walkway, tunnel for pedestrians (called pedestrian underpass in US).
    • 2021 December 29, Stephen Roberts, “Stories and facts behind railway plaques: Didcot (1932)”, in RAIL, number 947, page 60:
      Heading beneath the tracks via the subway to the immediate north of the station takes us to the Didcot Railway Centre.
  5. An underground route for pipes, sewers, etc.


(underground railway):

(rapid transit system):

(underground walkway):



subway (third-person singular simple present subways, present participle subwaying, simple past and past participle subwayed)

  1. (intransitive, US, informal) To travel by underground railway.
    • 2008 February 13, Melissa Clark, “From Paris, With Hustle”, in New York Times[2]:
      I suppose I could have subwayed around town in search of froufrou French pastry shops.

Derived terms[edit]




subway m (plural subways or subway)

  1. subway